You can make your linux workstation speak using espeak. Espeak is a text-to-speech synthesizer. If you have Ubuntu desktop, then you should already find it installed.
If you are a Ubuntu user and you don’t find espeak already installed, then you need to install the following:
$ sudo apt-get install espeak espeak-data
If you have Fedora, you can install espeak, using yum.
$ sudo yum install espeak
To use espeak, go to the cmdline.
espeak “hello, this is a test”
espeak -f <textfile>
cat <textfile> | espeak
You can control the speed at which words are spoken.
(To slow it down…default speed is 160)
espeak -s 120 “hello, this is a test”
To save the spoken words as a .wav file. Rather than direct output.
espeak -w hello.wav “hello, this is a test”
You can select different voices. To get a list of available voices use –voices.
Lets do the same but with a bit of italian accent.
espeak -v it “hello, this is a test”
Espeak also supports, though not fully, Speech Synthesizer Markup Language (SSML). This is a markup language similar to xml which controls the way text is pronounced.
To see the details of how espeak pronounces words, use the -x and -X options. This will output the phonetic codes associated with the spoken words, and whether the word is looked up or translated.
I hope this was useful. Leave a comment if you find a particularly interesting way to use espeak.